Optimum protection for the head

Wearing a helmet is not mandatory for cyclists in Switzerland. Nevertheless, in this Health Tip we recommend that you wear a helmet whenever you go cycling and that you keep the following in mind when buying one.
E-bikes have already become standard in many Swiss cities. Anyone who rides a fast e-bike (more than 25 km/h) is required to wear a helmet. This rule, however, does not apply to the slower e-bikes (less than 25 km/h), which count as normal bicycles. Nevertheless, organisations such as Pro Velo Switzerland, the Swiss Bicycle Advocacy Association, recommend that you wear a helmet whenever you ride an e-bike.

This is for the obvious reason that a helmet protects you against head injuries in case of a fall – reducing the risk of such an injury by half, according to the Swiss Council for Accident Prevention (bfu) (in tedesco).

Familie auf Velotour

Tips for buying a helmet

When buying a helmet, make sure you give yourself enough time to choose one that fits well. This is the only way to ensure proper protection. Check that the front edge of the helmet is about two fingers in width above the nose and that the side straps are right up against the skin so that you can fit not more than two fingers between the chin and the strap. It's also important that you can adjust the helmet by means of a rotary knob, which is always found at the back of the helmet. And last but not least, make sure that it has reflectors or some other way of making you more visible while on the road.

When should you replace the helmet?

Besides making the right choice, be sure not only to inspect but also to replace the helmet regularly. According to Pro Velo Switzerland, you should replace it every three to four years – even if it's still in good condition. This is because the material ages, which happens especially if you use the helmet often in strong sunlight. Also be sure to replace the helmet as soon as possible after a fall or strong impact, even if you don't notice any damage on close inspection. These steps will optimally protect you at all times.

For further information and tips about cycling, please refer to the website of Pro Velo Switzerland.
In the event of further health-related questions, SWICA customers can contact the santé24 telemedicine service free of charge on +41 44 404 86 86. A telemedicine practice licence allows santé24 physicians to provide additional medical services in cases that are suited to a telemedicine approach. SWICA customers can also use the BENECURA medical app to carry out a digital SymptomCheck and receive recommendations about what to do next. During a subsequent phone call with santé24, customers can decide for themselves whether to release their information from SymptomCheck to santé24.